Monday, February 10, 2014

Tough class!

So I managed to get up for this morning's 6am class - even arriving with probably 10 minutes to spare.  Beats frantically trying to get your bike set up as they're trying to get everyone warming up :)

Before the class the instructor came across and introduced himself. I accidentally said I'd done about 3 classes, which is wrong, I've done more like 6-7.  He explained that it would be a high intensity class and if I couldn't hit or maintain the zone to drop the fan number back and still try for the zone/speed..  I was still half asleep so this was a little offputting.

During the first track I was already struggling.  It was like a mid-high number, maintaining a high (for me) speed.   I felt bad as I was often 2 or more fan numbers lower than what he'd said and/or 5-10 rpm below what he was asking for but often I was working at zone 5 (out of 7) so figured I was still working hard. I even hit 120 RPM on the last track at the very end as I knew we were done.  He had said that with the 5-6 hot days that hydration levels probably wouldn't be great.  Given I'd had 3 (small) glasses of sparkling the night before - I'm guessing my hydration really wasn't great :)

The stretching afterwards was painful but good.  The instructor had encouraged us to roll out the legs (on the bikes) and stretch to help minimise lactic acid.  I think that's working as I haven't really had any DOMS apart from when climbing stairs or squatting down - then I notice my legs.  He asked how I found the class afterwards - I told him it was just as well he'd given me the warning as I struggled big time.  He explained that the group had been building since early December so everyone else was pretty regular. But said that after 4 sessions people were generally hitting his targets.  Hopefully that's 4 classes of his.  Not 4 classes in general! :)  My friend was using the right fan setting but was often 5-10 rpm below what he was saying so it wasn't just me.

Calories were lower today but higher fat burning percentage.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Cycling week 2

The studio is now on a full timetable and has open ride sessions. They have also installed crx straps for combo cycle/crx classes.

5/2 I was supposed to get up for a 6am class but after being awake from 2-5am I turned off my alarm and opted for a few hours sleep. I had decided I could maybe go to the afternoon class after work but wasn't overly committed. Told my work buddy that I was talking myself out of going so she countered my two excuses so off I went, making it in plenty of time. This was a green jersey class which was supposed to have more speed tracks but still seemed a good balanced class even though I wasn't quite hitting the rpm targets in some of the tracks. It was a warm day and I'd already gotten warm from riding my scooter there. It definitely helps having a workout buddy to give you that nudge when you need it.

6/2 was another afternoon class (as my work buddy was doing a morning release so I figured I'd do what she was signed up for). Was something like 36 degrees so the studio was really hit. There's 3 fans set up but no air con. The instructor was offering to do water bottle refills during the class which I took advantage of! One person ended up being unable to complete the class due to the heat. She would peddle and then just stop so the instructor told her to just head off and stretch. It was a real struggle with the heat!! At least we were being told to back off the pace/effort if we were feeling woozy, etc.. I had forgotten about a work group meeting followed by drinks - so had passed drinking cider and an hours non working time to work and then go to the class. Crazy!! Yellow class.

8/2 my Saturday morning class with Brooke (who I used to work with). She meanly adjusted my fan a few times to bump up the effort (not really ;)).  This time is was a green 40 minutes and 20 minutes of trx. We split into two groups and alternated between mat work and the trx cable work. Including planks, side planks, push ups, bridge alternating legs, and on the cables - hip flexor stretches, pull-ups, side plank type pull up and single leg squats. They need to lower the trx cables in order to do more core work as they were installed too high. They were also saying that when there wasn't a session on you could come in and also use the trx stuff.

I stayed for a coffee and toasted sandwich so had forgotten to turn off my hrm straight away.

They're offering a limited number of $30 a week memberships including a daily coffee. So if I continue I'll be aiming to do at least 2 classes a week if not 3. My work buddy is going almost daily although she has been cycling for awhile. But I think having rest days are useful as my legs felt tired on Thursday night when I'd already cycled on Wednesday. But maybe I'm a bit of a wuss :)

Art of Cycling

So it looks like 2014 will be the year of cycling. I started my month long trial on the Australia Day weekend largely because that's when someone at work was starting their trial too. It helps knowing someone else is going to the same classes!

Art of Cycling is a new specialised studio in Yarraville. All the staff are friendly. There is a cafe section at the front, the cycle room, and an area for stretching and foam rolling. They also have toilets, change rooms and showers.

 The bikes are watt bikes which mean they measure the force on each leg and displays it as a graph. You want an oval shape but often it looks like a peanut or figure 8 when you're pushing more than you're pulling. You also get a zone card for your level of fitness. Certain tracks you're aiming for a certain rpm, other times you need to work in certain zones where you are aiming for a certain watt (power) target range. Often you're so focused on hitting the numbers you don't notice how long the class is going for. 

After 45-50mins you head into the next room for stretching and foam rolling. I swear I have as much sweat dripping off me as when I was doing Bikram yoga. Their motto is to get fitter faster so each class is tough (though you can to at your own pace if you're struggling with the track). They have an online booking system so you can lock in your spot in the class in advance.

The cafe is open in the mornings and if you felt like it you could just drop in for a coffee, breakfast, snack and a bit of a stretch.  Their mochas are awesome :) a reward for working my butt off!

25/1 Saturday - polka dot class, based on hills and slower, power based cycling
(No hrm photo as my battery had gone flat!)
27/1 Monday - public holiday so took advantage of it to go to the 9:30am class. A yellow - mixed class.

29/1 Wednesday - polka dot class
 This is how the studio looks before 6am.

1/2 Saturday - polka dot class

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Antigravity yoga - progress

Well I'm now on my second four block series. To be honest the last session of the last block - I really struggled in the class and didn't like it much at all. I just wasn't getting what she was demoing. "Just get into the swoosh... Umm nope but everyone else is in it.. How did they get there" But I signed up again to see if I really didn't like it or it was a one off.

The first session of this series I couldn't attend as I was busy, and the second it took me a little while to get used to being upside down again. There were 2 regulars including me and the other guy was recovering from a cold and I had a stiff neck so we followed the basic plan but still got some good stretches.

Tonight was supposed to be a session with 5. 3 newbies and 2 regulars but 3 people paid and then just didn't show. So we got asked what we wanted to do, I said I had moderate energy and the other guy wanted a good stretch so we did a bunch of stretching and slow conditioning moves. It ended up being really quite hard with a lot of time upside down, back bends, core work, and deep stretches. I still feel like the dunce of the class but can laugh at myself when I get tangled up in my hammock. The teacher lets us go at our own pace so if I'm not feeling right with something I just stay at that level whilst they go a little more complex. I've gotten chatting to the other guy who goes every Thursday, found out he has family in Brazil (so I think that's where he's from), he also works in IT and is looking for a volleyball team to play in. Whilst he's usually silent in class he was actually giving me pointers about a move where I had missed we were supposed to stick our knees out. Made a massive difference to what I was attempting.

I still have a mental thing about doing flips, and sometimes I don't trust the hammock will hold me, and there's still times when I'm not keeping up with the advanced moves like everyone else. But given my first session I couldn't even hang upside down without letting go of my hands holding the hammock I feel I've come a long way. I think I enjoyed tonight's class more as there was less things I couldn't do and it still felt like a hard workout. Plus getting more familiar with the teacher and the other regular guy, the familiarity is nice. Will be interesting to see when classes are offered next year as apparently then the classes will either be relax/rehab/restorative or the harder style of class. But if tonight is anything to go by they'd both be challenging. And she gave us a very cute Christmas present of a little glittery mini note book and pen, (for the regulars).

I still think the cocoon part of the class where you're completely in your hammock and she comes and gives you a push so you have a bit of a swing is the highlight though :) 

Was going to take a break from it and try something else but now will see...

Nike + run club - session 2 (for me)

So week 2 and it was 32 degrees. I had decided to try riding my scooter to the run rather than catch a train, but got stuck in peak hour traffic and was pretty hot and bothered by the time I got to federation square. I then got more hot and bothered getting out of motorbike gear. Was pretty tempted to head home but figured I'd gotten this. Just do it - right?!

Checked in my gear, signed in and did a small warmup.

 I'd thought that doing the 10km, 7 min pace sounded pretty cruisy. We took off. This time close to the actual pace time (initially 6:48). Yay!! We stopped for water and the run leader waited for everyone to drink which was ace! Unfortunately my hay fever tablet hadn't cleared my nose and I was feeling seriously parched! To the point where it hurt to swallow. There was also stacks of annoying flys. We continued on and I was just in strugglesville, another km or so and up Anderson st hill and another water stop. We then continued on, further away from the starting point. At the tan one girl decided to head back, I should of but persevered until we got to Fawkner park and the group then headed up another hill. I turned the other way and had more water, deciding to head back. A mix of walking and jogging - completing 7.6km instead of the planned 10km.  But I still felt a sense of achievement for actually going running instead of going home, and persevering despite feeling awful. It just wasn't my night.

Why Nike run club is awesome:
- the run leader looked after the group and ran close to pace. 
- they provide free electrolytes and water, and lolly snakes!
- the meeting area is a really comfy place to stretch and hang out after the race
- there a good variety of distance and pace, I know 2 people found the pace a little too quick so headed back to join a 5km group
- the official nike people are nice and friendly. I had one girl ask how my run went as I was enjoying a drink, being encouraging after I mentioned I'd turned around early and also chatted to an organiser about the group, and the nike app and what I did for a living. It's a big reason for heading back next week.
- I first found it odd initially that they used the same event each week by updating the date, but now realise it's pretty handy having it appear in my calendar each week 

What would add to the awesomeness:
- provide some water before the run started (maybe they did and I missed it)
- maybe find someone to provide fruit. How awesome would watermelon be on a hot summers day!
- form the distance groups a little earlier so there's more of a chance to chat to people we'll be running with
- show a course map (so it's less of a mystery how far to go) - although I've only done 1x5km and 1x10km so maybe that's just repeated each week.
- add a Facebook group people can post to, or a dedicated Instagram account that we can tag in our photos to encourage more people to take photos and spread the word

It's a great way to get out there and run even if you're not quite feeling like it :). Keep up the good work nike people!!

Here's some random shots post run.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

15.6km complete!!

So on Sunday I ran my longest ever distance!

The weather was pretty awful, drizzly and grey.  After I left the carpark at southbank I was freezing!  But thankfully warmed up by the time I got to the start line.  I ended up wearing my long nike epic run tights, a singlet and the event tshirt.  I had brought along a light windbreaker jacket but accidentally left that in the car and I didn't end up needing it.  I also wore a light white cap to keep the rain off my face as that really annoys me whilst running.

In terms of preparation - I had pasta for the 2 nights before the race, I ensured I had had hayfever tablets the day and night before and of the morning.  For breakfast I had a slice of fresh bread with strawberry jam, and a banana smoothie with a scoop of protein.

Before the race

During the race

After the race

I decided to go hardcore on the gels this time which seemed to make a world of difference. I had a gel at the start of the race, 45 mins in, then another one about 30 mins later.  I unfortunately had to stop for a bathroom break on lap 2, but at least I felt hydrated for the race!! :)

Here are some Nike + Running stats

I celebrated with a parma :)

I went home and had a soak in the bath with salts, and also had a bath the next day.  My legs ended up being so sore, especially my calves.  The wet area after the race didn't inspire me to spend much time stretching so I'm sure that didn't help though I did a little bit.  My hips were also really sore - so lots of painful turning during the night in bed!!

My result:

Race 3: 1:46:24.0 Overall Place 176 Age Category Place 33

Given I aimed to run at 7 min/kms I beat that goal and was still going strong at the end.  So I'm happy with how I went!  I feel with more training I could make half marathon distance.

If you'd like to support the health foundation:

I unfortunately didn't achieve my original goal of 2x 15km runs, as the second race followed on from back issues which hampered my training.  However I did run a total of 36.2km over 3 races :)

I'm a big fan of the Spring into Shape series.  It has a great course and is at the right time of year where if I've been lazy over winter I can use it to get back into running.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nike+ run club

Back in the days of Nike town in Bourke street (Melbourne), I used to attend nike running sessions. They were awesome, especially since you got advice on running, got to trial their shoes, and they gave out raffle tickets to win free stuff. I might have won a running belt and two caps (although gave a cap away to my friend who had come along one time). Weekday sessions went from the store and Saturday sessions from the tan.  Then the store closed and my running also largely stopped. Recently I'd seen hints of a "new" running club but the posts I found on Facebook were usually months old that no one was responding to them anymore.  In trying on the new epic run tights (comfiest pants I now own and nice and warm in this awful Melbourne spring we're having) at the Nike Melbourne Central store, I saw a sign in the change rooms to head to the store's Facebook page for details about a running group. Again I found a post from at least a month ago mentioning a venue change.

Here's the pants (taken from their Facebook page)

Eventually a hunt on the internet and I found this guy's blog:

From there I found an old event and the nike running au group. Success!

The facebook event which seems to get shuffled along each week is here:
(if that link stops working from the nike running au page, go to events - it will either be a future or past one for melbourne :))

Thanks to Dean for answering my question on Facebook about whether they ran regardless of the weather and his suggestion to introduce myself when I came along I found the extra motivation I needed to combat the rain that started as soon as I left work and actually attend!  Instead of running from the store they now hire an area of federation square (amphitheatre) with massive numbers of people turning up.

This picture doesn't show a massive amount of people as a lot of us were hiding from the rain

Well organised, you need to sign a release form for new runners or sign a sheet for returning runners and get a run card stamped. After 5 runs you can claim a free nike dry fit tshirt (see above). They're black and awesome!

The front

The Back - so glad people were wearing these for me to spot on the run

You can then leave your bag with them getting an wristband in exchange for safe return of your belongings. There was a warmup (which kind of fizzled as I think too many people were trying to take shelter from the rain), then the run groups were announced and headed off.

This time there were 5 & 10km distances with pace groups of 5, 6 or 7 min Kms. I annoyingly run at 6:30 and thought it would be good to push myself to run at 6. Unfortunately lots of people seemed to be running faster than 6 min km once we got to the tan track which was way too fast for me! 

Here we are momentarily stuck at traffic lights - such a variety of people

Here's my run

Despite dropping back and running solo most of the 5kms, I still always had someone with a nike shirt or wristband in sight. I also was greeted on return and asked by both Dean and my pace runner how I went. So that was nice! Drinks were available as well as lolly snakes. A group stretching session was also held which I'm usually pretty lazy about doing.

I'm a bit sad the Monday runs don't happen anymore as it means I can't make my local boxing class on a Wednesday night but it's a great way to go running with a variety of different people. I hope they can facilitate smaller groups (maybe having 2 run leaders spread themselves out in the group rather than both up the front), and maybe introduce half minute pace groups so that the group actually run at the speed they're supposed to. Maybe the 7 min group would have run fast!! They were short on run leaders for this session though. I've probably found this friendly group just as they go on break for the Christmas period but at least now I know who they are and that they'll be doing training for Run for the kids next year! I'm pretty confident given the weather I wouldn't have run when I got home so this was great to keep training!